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Library Association Submissions on Reforms to the Copyright Board of Canada

Library Association Submissions on Reforms to the Copyright Board of Canada

October 5, 2017

Earlier this week, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) and the Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA) released their submissions to the Consultation on Options for Reform of the Copyright Board of Canada.

Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA)

The CFLA submission includes seven recommendations related to the legislative foundation of the Copyright Board and to making certain substantive and procedural changes to the tariff process before the Copyright Board:

The CFLA supports reforms to the legislative foundation in the Copyright Act for the Copyright Board of Canada.

  • The CFLA supports the creation of an explicit statutory mandate for the Copyright Board – one that focuses the Board on the public interest and the maintenance of fairness amongst the multiplicity of interests inherent in the copyright environment.
  • The CFLA believes that the public interest will be better served through the inclusion of a statutory process for intervenors before the Copyright Board and establishment of a system for making funds available to ensure a broad range of interventions.
  • The CFLA supports the enactment of a list of decision-making factors the Board must consider in its decision-making – but recommends it appear in the Copyright Act itself.

The CFLA is in favour of making certain substantive and procedural changes to the tariff process before the Copyright Board while retaining other important elements of the current statutory regime.

  • The CFLA supports amending the Copyright Act such that while a new tariff is pending before the Board, the previously ordered tariff will continue to apply to affected institutions and the new tariff, when ordered, shall only apply prospectively.
  • The CFLA believes that libraries and their institutions should be able to choose whether to initiate a relationship with a collective through contract, whether or not that collective has proposed a tariff (which will require amendment to current s 70.12), or to participate in a tariff process initiated by a collective.
  • The CFLA endorses the current regime both in respect of maintaining the distinction between the processes of the Board governing collectives under s 67 and those under s 70.1 and in so far as the Act supports the fact that literary collectives are not the exclusive representatives of the rights holders they represent.
  • Where a library or its institution is not using works or other subject matter in ways that lie within the ambit of the rights represented by a collective that has proposed a tariff, the CFLA recommends that the legislation governing the Copyright Board make it clear that such libraries are not required to provide evidence about their operations to any proceeding before the Board.

The Federation’s full submission is available on the CFLA website.

Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL)

The CARL submission acknowledges and supports the recommendations in the CFLA submission and includes four recommendations related to the interests of research libraries:

  • The Board should encourage and support engagement by non-commercial and public interest stakeholders by offsetting expenses related to such interventions.
  • Tariffs should only apply prospectively, or measures should be put in place to limit the length of time affected by retroactivity.
  • All documents filed with the Board and matters relating to them should be made publicly available whenever possible.
  • Procedural improvements to the Board should be undertaken through regulation whenever possible.

The full submission is available on the CARL website.

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